“A design isn’t finished until somebody is using it” — Brenda Laurel
A perfect reflection of the philosophy that drives the Barcelona-based design studio 3Patas (3Legs in Spanish), whose innovative projects invite the user’s interaction and personalization.
The 3×3 table — a simple 3-legged one at first sight — is a collection of auxiliary tables and stools, which neatly combine with two bowls to form a family.
With clean lines and a soft palette, it is clearly a product developed out of the contemporary necessity to save space in small apartments. It can morph to be used in various ways in different environments, and adapt to its users’ necessities. The more I look at it, the more I realize I really need one in my own home!
3Patas are three young, creative and daring designers, making themselves a place in a world of design. Their products — which include the above-mentioned table set, various lighting designs, shelving systems, as well as many other projects — all aim to find solutions to concrete problems using the emotional experience of the user as a guide.
Constantly in the “search for innovation, always maintaining the warmth and the collective imagination which give our products a human touch.” (from the 3patas website)
The Worley Lamp seen above was part of a project developed originally for a private home in Barcelona’s Left Eixample. The lamp’s structure is made up of three bent tubes, always making right angles and at whose ends a light bulb falls vertically from the ceiling at different heights. The group is painted with black piano lacquer, giving the piece sobriety and neutrality.
3Patas also designed the dining table in the same room, taking into careful consideration the chairs with which it was to be paired. The interior designer had chosen Jean Prouvé’s Standard Chair from 1934, so 3Patas designed a table whose legs echoed the iconic design of the chairs, including a shelf where a user could rest their computer or books.
A metalworker was hired to bend the tubular steel legs in three dimensions, something which involves a complex process. The result is a visual and material harmony between the classic chairs and the bespoke table.
For another client — the Barcelona restaurant Suculent — they added kitchen pots to the Worley Lamp to act as shades. This time, the lamp turns on in three different phases, so the lamp can be brighter or dimmer depending on the number of guests dining at the table. A clever and playful way to resolve the problem of dimming and focusing the light in a restaurant.
I’ve always liked finding new uses to old objects — and seeing how product designers take that to a new level. For the same restaurant as the Pot Lamps, the designers created this series of wall lights from discarded XL sized tuna cans.
The Teja Shelf takes its name from the clay roof tiles typically used in the Mediterranean homes. A modular piece, it allows the user to configure the shelf in whichever way is more suited to its use and space.
“In times of crisis, only imagination is more important than knowledge.” In this quote from Albert Einstein, 3Patas find a reflection to their philosophy when creating projects that are useful, thoughtful, innovative and aesthetically pleasing.
In the economic climate we are currently living in, the designer’s most important role is to fulfill the user’s needs while being resourceful and imaginative. I am not alone in thinking that 3Patas has a long career ahead of them. They have been nominated to the prestigious ADI-FAD Design Awards for 2012. We wish them all the luck in the world and will stay tuned for their upcoming works!